Canada’s intelligence agency requested to disclose information on potential dangers

CSIS coasters are pictured in Ottawa in a 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CSIS

“Canadian Businesses Push for Spy Agency to Share Threat Intelligence: ”
The Business Council of Canada is proposing legislative changes that would allow Canada’s spy agency to share threat intelligence with businesses. They believe this could help protect companies and the economy. President and CEO Goldy Hyder has argued for this new approach in a submission to the federal government.

Sharing Intelligence for Protection
The proposed changes would allow CSIS to share information on threats to the security of Canada beyond the federal sphere, with the aim of increasing awareness and resiliency. This idea has gained support among government and business circles, but it is raising concerns among civil libertarians who fear inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information about people under CSIS scrutiny.

Security vs. Civil Liberty
Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc has said that any broader authority for CSIS to disclose information would be accompanied by measures to safeguard privacy protections. On the other hand, Tim McSorley from the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group believes there needs to be a broader debate about this, as allowing access to classified information in private briefings may not be the best way to go. He raises concerns about the potential targeting of communities with legitimate concerns and the history of intelligence organizations prioritizing their concerns over protecting the rights of Canadians and ensuring their safety.

Proposal for Action
The Business Council of Canada proposes the creation of a formal threat intelligence exchange similar to the U.S. government’s Domestic Security Alliance Council, which has been beneficial for American corporations. They believe that CSIS, Public Safety Canada, and the Canadian private sector are well placed to build and operate a similar threat intelligence exchange.

In conclusion, the debate over whether CSIS should be allowed to share intelligence with businesses is a complex one. The need for security and protection is understandably vital for businesses, but it should not come at the cost of individual civil liberties and rights. There is much to consider in finding a balance between enhancing security measures and safeguarding the privacy and rights of Canadians. This issue should prompt a broader discussion that considers multiple perspectives and carefully weighs the potential consequences of any legislative changes.



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